For the first time I visited Spiritual formation institute in Voronezh in June 2015. That was the first SFI in Russia, which was intriguing by itself. I couldn’t even guess how astounded I would be within these 5 days. SFI theme that year was Renewal relationship with God. I had almost 20 years of walking with God, tons of lectures and seminars attended, as a pastor I myself organized different classes. But I truly can’t express what I’ve experienced within these 5 days. You should taste it! I had a true renewal of my relationship with God, many of my strongholds were destroyed. God showed me the direction where I’d go and lead the church. They say, God is never enough. But back then, in 2015, I experienced God abundantly, I could barely control my emotions when being alone, going deep into the woods by myself and letting my emotions and tears flow. Something important happened then.
Now I really see what it was! I fell in love with God anew. I fell in love with silence. It’s amazing to be tête-à-tête with Creator, enjoying His works, hearing His voice. In my personal life and my church life slight changes started taking place, the process’s still going on.
Every year, coming to SFI, I received responses to my almost every single prayer and thought. I can’t stop being thankful to God for His never ending love! So it’s the fourth SFI event left behind for me, where I participated:
1. 2015 – Voronezh
2. 2016 – Moscow region
3. 2017 – Issyk-Kool lake, Kyrgyzstan
4. 2018 – Ekaterinburg
I’m in love with SFI and when returning home I keep on thinking about the outcomes of the encounter with God. And it’s very intimate.
I can’t help mentioning the organizing team of the event. Bishop Eduard Khegay and his assistant Ekaterina Kim, DSs Andrei Kim and Irina Margoulis, pastors Alexander Vechersky, Fyodor Kim, Lena Kim, Dmitry Lysin, lay leaders Yulia Minikhanova, Zhenya Li, Nadya Sharopina, Elina Ten, Vasilina Babich.
The classes were held by bishop Eduard, DSs Natalia Prokhorova, Irina Margoulis, pastors Alla Vouxta, Alexander Vechersky, Stas Osipov.
Many more leaders were serving at SFI during these years. I’m sorry if I didn’t mention someone. The organizing team is in charge of almost everything, the theme, the spot, the decorations (different within the 5 days), the music, the stories. They are a unified team that serves God and us with an indescribable love. Every evening we were gathered in the covenant groups, where we could share what happened thoughout the day. Sharing the most intimate things.
Morning and evening devotions were the most inspiring, especially Eucharistic liturgies, that we had every day. The sense of love and Holy Spirit’s presence made every worship service unique.
I’ve been praying for you since 2015, praying for SFI. And every year it’s getting more interesting, the themes are different but one thing remains the same– it’s the presence of God and their mutual work with Holy Spirit. «Stay calm and realize that I am God».
Tatiana Vladimirova, Emmanuel UMC pastor
«Обновление отношений с Богом» (Епископ Эдуард Хегай)
«Свидетельство об Институте духовного формирования-2016» (Елена Китаева)
«Обновление отношений с Богом» (Катя Ким)